He Sees/She Sees: If Walls Could Talk

“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.

It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away.”
― Ray Bradbury

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Have you ever had one of those moments in life when you wonder if you’re a part of some cosmic joke, or a figment of a surrealist’s dream.

I had several of those a few weeks ago after arriving at a station. Everything seemed normal at the time, until I explored further.

Take this picture, for instance:

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Way Out

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It appears to be straightforward, and the sign is being helpful to those arriving at the station for the first time, it tells you where to go if you want to find your way out. However if I were to follow that arrow as the crow flies. I’d end up next door, in the local cemetery.

In this particular village the station is next to the cemetery, they share a carpark, which gives a whole new meaning to terminus, having reached the end of the line, and your final destination.

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Gateway Home

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The walls in this place talked to me with their many signs and I began to get rather nervous about what they were saying, and the path which lay ahead.

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Paths

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While I was feeling rather anxious about the signs, and perhaps omens, of this trip and adventure, Stephen was immersing himself in the poetry, the visual beauty, of it.

The walls talked to him differently from the way they talked to me.

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Free Passes

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He heard the echoes of those who came before and those who loved them. Their silent conversations which would never die.

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Unfinished Symphony

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The interactions between light and shadow, of past mingling with present, socialising in the here and now and not worrying about the future, the over there.

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Shadowlands

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The other day while browsing the news, I came across an article – People not talking to each other – about a photographic project by a street photographer known as Babycakes Romero. He takes snaps of people who are together, but who are focusing upon their mobile phones rather than on the person whom they are with.

I wondered how he knew that these people weren’t talking with each other, maybe they were texting each other. Did he talk to them to find out or did he just photograph them without talking to them.

Then I had a surreal moment, where the mobile phones in their hands appeared to be portable tombstones, upon which epitaphs were being written with the quick patter of fingers aided by apps which predict what you’re going to say and maybe change what you’re saying until even you aren’t sure what it was that you wanted to express.

Perhaps that’s why in this digital age, an image often becomes our medium of saying what our words can’t. A photograph as a wall that talks, for us, about us, to others.

Between the cemetery and the station, was a wall with this upon it:

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 Side eye

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I wonder was this wall was talking about?